The Potty Chart

It’s been about two weeks now. The first week included about one accident per day. The second, zero. Two weeks of underpants. Where did my baby go?

He’s still in a diaper to nap and overnight, but the nap diapers haven’t been wet for about five days or so. I’m super proud of my big boy, and I honestly can’t even take much of the credit.

A couple weeks ago, the daddy and I decided we were going to really ramp up the potty training. M seemed ready enough, just not very motivated one way or the other. So due to his enthusiasm for stickers when we’d go to the library or the grocery store, we decided to get him some fun ones and make him a chart for using the potty. Instant motivation.

He’s two, so we didn’t need anything really complicated. I took a big sheet of his easel paper and drew a picture of a potty and labeled it “Michael’s Potty Chart” across the top. I filled the page with empty circles in which to place the sticker of his choice (usually a helicopter, aka “hop-toptah”). At the bottom, a smiley face. Every time he did his business in the toilet, he got a sticker. He got praised for trying (but no sticker if no deposit), and we tried to remain calm in the event of an accident. If he wet his pants, we had him help us clean up while reminding him that when he wears underpants, he needs to hold it until he can get to the potty. He had his last accident on the very same day he put the last sticker in the last empty circle on his chart.

He got a set of Duplo blocks as a reward for filling the chart (not promised beforehand because then we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere as two-year-olds are not known for their patients and skill at delaying gratification–and happily enough, he was plenty enthusiastic about the sticker chart on its own merits).

I made him a new potty chart the next day (a lot more circles to fill than the first), but the first one really got the job done. He doesn’t even always remember to ask for a sticker when he goes now. Just does his thing, hops off, washes hands and goes back to playing. He’s so quick, we don’t even need to sit there with a book waiting for something to happen anymore. He is so proud of himself, too, when he goes. His big smile just lights up his whole face when he gets that tinkle going. He has even started telling us when he needs to go if we don’t remember to take him often enough. That is huge.

The thing about underpants is that he hurts his butt more than he used to with the big cloth-padded booty. And also? A lot of his shorts will probably last through next summer, he’s got such skinny little hips. I swear one of his pairs of shorts that fits just perfectly is size 18-month. Some of the 2T fit fine, but there are a few pairs that just fall right down. It’s hilarious.

Anyway, I just had to share the milestone. We’re pretty excited over here. This week, we’re going to ditch the diaper in the car and outside the house. Next week, or in another couple days, we’ll try ditching the nap diaper, too. It may be a few more weeks before he wears the undies all night, but he’s getting really, really close.

Way to go, Mr. M! We did it!


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